Plek blog

How to balance ’need-to-know’ and ‘nice-to-know’, in internal communication

Informal or unstructured employee communication is the casual communication between employees based on the informal social relationships within the organisation. Unstructured communication (nice-to-know) can be informative, create a sense of belonging, unite areas and raise employee morale. There is also a darker side, as unconfirmed information can spread unintentionally if left unchecked.

On the other hand, formal or structured employee communication (need-to-know) is the sharing of official workplace information dictated by the hierarchical structures of the organisation. It has to adhere to a set of communication rules, unlike informal communication.

Both formal and informal communication is vital in crafting your employee experience and improving employee engagement.

Using a digital platform that delivers the best formal and informal communication is essential for effective employee communication in an organisation.

Internal communication platform considerations

An internal communication platform, like a social intranet or employee app, is crucial to ensure everyone remains informed.

It is an essential channel for management, IC, HR, compliance and other departments to share the company culture and vision, applicable protocols, HR handbooks, compliance requirements, etc.

Delivering formal and informal communication on the same platform strengthens each other. This integration requires a smart platform that lets users choose what they want to see. This way, communication becomes personal and relevant.

You need a platform that enables the company to ensure that certain communications are seen by selected or all users by highlighting the information or through email or push notifications.

As with the launch of any new platform, user adoption rates are always a concern. Will people use the internal communication platform? Will the new platform be able to replace the current newsletter or other channels, or should you continue using it?

Many companies are also concerned about including non-work-related items on the platform and the impact of starting an internal social platform on employee productivity.

At Plek, we have found the solution to these concerns based on our extensive experience assisting clients with implementing our internal communications platform.

We know that by making sure people use the platform intensively, also for items not directly related to work, the adoption will increase, and your critical messages will find their audience with ease.

When users enter the platform to read an informal chat, they will also see that important news update.


From "need-to-know"
Even before and during the first day, a lot of information reaches your new colleague. With a checklist, you easily indicate what your new colleagues can expect. This can include information about lunch, the canteen, and the house rules or a reminder about completing their personal profile on the social intranet and introducing themselves.

To "nice to know"

What are the most important news channels for you? Where can you find the latest news? On which channels is your organisation most active? Who works at the various locations? Who started recently, and where to find the latest news? Your new colleague will have no problem finding this information on your intranet.


Plek for increased connection, engagement and productivity

Plek brings together structured top-down and unstructured bottom-up communication in one digital environment. It helps you to create connections and realise objectives through dialogue while offering an excellent employee experience and improving employee engagement.

This digital platform helps you stimulate the exchange of ideas and knowledge sharing and create meaning, whether about your strategy, organisation-wide themes or the developments within a team or group.

There are distinct capabilities that using Plek offers you in delivering formal and informal employee communication.

Design the best employee experience

Employees want a relevant, simple and convenient communication experience. You can improve communication, knowledge sharing, collaboration, dialogue, onboarding, employee engagement and productivity at your speed and messaging. With Plek’s modular solutions, you orchestrate the optimal employee experience.

Employees can decide how and what information they want to see while you can onboard and guide them through new standards and instructions. Each person can adopt information at their speed too.

Improve employee engagement through smart conversations

As part of your employee engagement communication strategy, the platform enables you to engage in customised, one-on-one conversations at scale.

This way, you can drive secure and anonymous communication about what matters most to your employees, such as their engagement levels, employee engagement ideas, your new strategy, or essential changes. This is made easy with adjustable templates for most of these interactions.

These conversations develop over time, building on the input received from the employee. Plek Employee Engagement is an efficient HR portal for internal communication to enhance employee engagement as you demonstrate to your employees that you take them and their input seriously.

Plek Employee Engagement offers much more than an employee survey as it provides coherent insights into what's really going on, coupled with knowledge.

You have instant access to trends and patterns derived from all conversation data with an overview of the dominant personas in your organisation. You can instantly identify new issues at a team and organisational level to action immediately and possibly turn into employee engagement questions for your next survey. You can also compare progress on issues against previous employee engagement survey benchmark data.

You can support your managers and employees with relevant insights and give them easy access to a knowledge base that provides inspiration, overview and control. You can assist specific managers with issues arising, such as tips on holding an effective team meeting. At the same time, it helps your organisation to realise its objectives faster.

Provide access to anyone, anywhere, anytime

With Plek's Social Intranet, everyone has access to the organisation, colleagues and relevant information via one central platform for both desktop and mobile that you can brand as your employer app. You can add modules for onboarding for an all-encompassing solution.

A great employee experience means you limit the number of tools people use and offer people an easy to use, meaningful way to participate in and contribute to the conversation.

The Plek Employee app increases the connection between employees. For instance, you can coordinate with colleagues before you go to the next appointment. This way, employees feel more connected to each other and the organisation. The app makes communicating and sharing information very easy.

Employees can also configure the app to create their own environment. They can set their own channels, groups, background and colour. This way, you increase the app's acceptance and create a personalised experience.

Have quick access and deep insights

You have access to rich insights for your internal communication area and management on the way communication, knowledge sharing and cooperation is evolving in your organisation so you can make targeted and relevant improvements.

Plek Social Intranet integrates with more than 750 different tool types, apps and software with a link with both Office 365 and Google Drive, HR systems and payroll administration. Users have quick access to various tools to increase productivity.

Final Thought

Separate digital environments are a thing of the past, and employees require the convenience of a single, central space where everything is available. A space they can make their own and give them the experience they want.

Plek offers a digital platform for formal and informal employee communication, focused on employee experience while building employee engagement and offering IC, HR and management the tools to drive the conversation around the topics that you think are relevant.

Curious about what Plek can do for your employee engagement?
Contact us and one of our advisors will be happy to tell you more. Or look at Get in touch, or take a free product tour?

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